Worship on Sunday, FAQ
Everyone is Welcome in Worship!
‘Worship’ comes from an old English word meaning to ascribe worth. Traditionally, Jewish and Christian religions consider an idea of God to be of ultimate worth. In Unitarian Universalist worship services we ascribe worth to our shared values and seek answers to life’s most difficult questions through many sources of wisdom, ancient and modern.
Sunday services are one way we gather in community to remind ourselves of our highest aspirations. These services provide a time for comfort, challenge, and reflection. During our time together we celebrate being alive alongside the challenge of knowing we will one day die. We choose to share the journey of our lives together as we embrace our different beliefs, knowing we share common principles and seek the greater good of all.
For information about upcoming services, click here.
Assisted listening devices are available from the ushers. ASL and a Braille hymnal may be available with advanced notice.
Frequently Asked Questions
What should I expect on Sunday morning?
Worship begins at 10:30 a.m. with everyone in the sanctuary for the first 15-20 minutes. Typically we share a welcome, light our congregational chalice, sing a hymn, and experience a storytelling or brief conversation. Then children and teachers are recessed from the sanctuary by congregational singing.
Children and teachers go from the sanctuary to their classrooms or to a special children’s worship. Parents are welcome to accompany their children if they wish. Remaining adults hear a sermon, special music, sing, meditate or pray, and share brief personal joys and sorrows on most Sundays. Holidays may differ slightly from this routine and once a month all ages remain in the sanctuary for the entire worship hour.
Casual attire is typical, but ‘Sunday best’ is welcome, too. You’ll see people wearing jackets and ties and others in jeans or shorts and sandals. Our building is air conditioned in summer, but with many windows, sunlight streaming in, and a desire to conserve energy, sometimes it may feel a little warm. Please dress comfortably.
How long is a typical service?
Sunday services last roughly an hour, though any service may be slightly shorter or longer. We aim to start on time, at 10:30 am. We recommend you arrive at least 10 minutes before the start time to park your car, get a nametag, and be seated. We have two parking lots, one entered from Rambling Road and a new lot entered from Cheatham Drive.
Are there special holiday services?
Yes, throughout the year we recognize many holidays and holy days and we learn from the wisdom of many traditions. We celebrate unique Unitarian Universalist holy days, such as an ingathering service which includes a unique UU Water Ceremony, and a special Flower Ceremony in the spring. We hold a candlelight Christmas Eve service and an Easter service which interpret these events from a liberal viewpoint. We also celebrate the rhythm of the season and our place in the universe with Solstice and Equinox observances. We also learn from holidays in the Jewish, Buddhist, Hindu or other religious traditions, though we don’t celebrate these as if we were Jewish, etc. In addition, we observe cultural holidays, such as New Year’s Day, Martin Luther King, Jr., Day, and Earth Day.
Because we hold different beliefs, during our various worship services we lift up, or worship, what is most important to us—our shared values. Together we seek answers to life’s most difficult questions, learn how to be better persons, remind ourselves of our values and aspirations, and listen to wisdom from a variety of sources and faith traditions. Since UUs hold a variety of theological beliefs, we do not collectively worship one idea of God or divinity. We respect and incorporate a variety of ideas over time in our services.
Who should I contact with any other questions I may have?
If you have other questions or concerns about worship at UUFA, please contact Rev. Alison Eskildsen or Lee Cornell, Lay Minister for Spiritual Arts. We look forward to seeing you in worship and hearing from you, too.